Johann Elert Bode

Johann Elert Bode was appointed to the Observatory in 1772. His name is well known because of Bode's Law although this relation was either a) actually discovered by Johann David Titius of Wittenberg with Bode just spreading the word about the discovery, or b) Bode had discovered it independently. It all depends on which source you consult. This law, ironically, was discredited by Berlin's later discovery of Neptune.

If you divide the distance from the Sun to Saturn into 100 lengths, then

Mercury is at 4 lengths

Venus is at 7 lengths (4+3)

Earth is at 10 lengths (4+6)

Mars is at 16 lengths (4+12)

Nothing was seen at 28 lengths (4+24)

Jupiter is at 52 lengths (4+48)

Saturn is at 100 lengths (4+96)

Bode became enthusiastic about trying to find the 'missing planet' at 28 lengths. He became a member of what was known as the 'Celestial Police' which attempted to find this object, and then (after being pre-empted by Piazzi discovering Ceres before he was actually informed that he himself was a member of the 'Celestial Police') became instrumental in searching for asteroids - the total mass of these asteroids turning out to be insufficient to have originated from the single planet that was expected from Bode's Law.

He became director in 1786, a post he kept until 1826. During the 40 years of his directorship, Berlin became recognized for its observations of planets, double stars and comets.

In 1779, he discovered what is now M64, the Blackeye Galaxy, one of the brightest galaxies in the Virgo Cluster.

In 1781 Bode had suggested the name Uranus for the planet discovered by William Herschel, although this name was not fully adopted in Britain until 1850. He also discoverd that uranus had previously been unwittingly noted by Tobias Mayer in 1756 and John Flamsteed in 1690. These prior observations proved useful for calculating Uranus's orbit - it very soon became obvious that Uranus was deviating from these predictions of its orbit.

In 1774 he had founded the Berliner Astronomisches Jahrbuch (and compiled 51 annual issues). In 1801 he produced Uranographia, a collection of twenty star maps and a catalog of 17,240 stars and nebulae, 12,000 more than had appeared in earlier charts. Whereas previously star charts had only indicated the brighter stars, the Uranographia was the first reasonably complete depiction of the stars visible to the unaided eye. It included an early use of constellation boundaries, a concept accepted and refined by 19th-century cartographers

He produced a catalog of nebulae containing 75 objects in 1777 and 77 in 1780 (containing 50 "true" deep sky objects and 5 personal discoveries): "A Complete Catalogue of Hitherto Observed Nebulous Stars and Star Clusters".

Orion the Hunter from Bode's Uranographia

Orion from Bode's Uranographia